Monday, February 22, 2021

Shake down trip to Morro Bay.

 February 22, 2021

Weather and our schedule aligned to finally take our first overnight trip in the new van. Decided to head to Morro Bay someplace we have only driven by and not spent any time at. Made a reservation at the Morro Bay state park for our first night and at 43 Ranch olive oil a Harvest Host site. 

We packed up and headed down I-5. Almond trees were in full bloom, springtime was arriving in the great central valley of California. 

One of the items I have needed to work on is to slow down and smell the flowers. Not to drive 8+ hours a day to get where we wanted to go. 

We decided to stop at the viewpoint on I-5  just below Patterson. Got out and we could smell the flowers, that is the almond blossoms. The van was running perfectly and I had set the cruise at 65 MPH to enjoy the day. 

California has many historical markers at the viewpoints along our roads. This one is from the viewpoint we stopped at. 

Clear day as we continued south on I-5. This was also a trip to find out things about our new van.  The adaptive cruise control is almost addictive, it just works. 

We stopped at the rest area just above Hwy 41, our turn to the coast. Nice to be able to stop and have everything we need to have lunch with us. Many people feel the Class B vans are too small. Coming from our little truck camper the van is large inside. 

Heading up the hills to the coast the Ford EcoBoost did not slow at all.  We arrived at the Morro Bay state park and got settled for the night. The picture to the right is our spot for the night. We walked the campground and checked out all the other rigs there. We were surprised that the row we were in had 10 other Class B motorhomes. 

We used our microwave at dinner and as the evening cooled off we turned on the Truma heater. The Truma makes almost no noise so we just turned the temp down when we went to bed and left the heater running. Changing the couch to a bed was very easy and took less than 10 minutes, I am sure we will get it down to under 5 minutes. Happy to report the cushions in the van made a great mattress. This will be the first RV we have had that will not require a sleeping pad to be comfortable. 

At 5:30 AM we heard a generator start. Sounded like it was a few spots away, why would someone fire up a generator at that time.  Tried to fall back asleep, but we were awake for the day. Turned the heater up and the van warmed quickly. Used the induction cooktop for the first time. Really heated fast. Also, that generator started again. Looked to see who's rig and was and found it was our generator.  I had set the Auto Generator Start to start when the voltage drops.  I knew the generator was the new super quiet one. Did not realize it did not vibrate enough to wake us when it came on. The fridge runs on 12 volts, the induction cooktop and microwave are 110 volts through the invertor. I have adjusted the setting on the Auto Generator Start and will check in the evening to see if the batteries need to be charged.  Don't want to be that guy running the generator at 5:30 AM.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

After we got up we had what I call our camping breakfast. Yogurt, banana, and Veronica's homemade muffin. In the old camper, we had metal REI coffee mugs. We upgraded to ceramic mugs so we could use them in the microwave if needed. Thank you to Garry and Wanda Pardini for the mugs. 

After breakfast we took a walk to the marina next to the State Park. Clear morning, no wind, and t-shirt weather.  

It was what I call a Chamber of Commerce morning.  These are the mornings you hear about and hope to have when you go to the coast. Most of the time you are in the fog or wind. 

After our hike, we cleaned up and got on our way for the day. Drove north to check out the Morro Bay beach. Found coastal access with a small parking lot. Luckily the van will fit in a standard parking space. Looked for sea glass and found none, but we did collect several sand dollars on the beach. 

Just a picture-perfect day on the beach. The sand was superfine, guess this is why no beach glass. The sky and surf were spectacular. 

Decided to drive up Hwy 1 as far as San Simeon.  Our next stop was Cayucos a small town that we have only passed on the Highway.  We parked, masked up, and walked to the end of their pier. There were plaques along the rail walking out the pier. Looks like it was rebuilt with local donations. There were several surfers in the ocean but the surf was flat without the wind.  Back driving up Highway 1 we took the first left exit going into Cambria another town we had just driven through. We drove toward the ocean looking for coastal access. Found it but only two spots that were both full. Some really nice home by the ocean in Cambria. 

Our next stop going north was San Simeon where Hearst Castle is located.  Covid has the Castle closed, but Sebastion's store and Hearst's winery were open across the street. We drove by but did not stop. We turned and headed south stopping at the viewpoints along the coast.  The picture on the left is looking back to the Hearst Pier.  12 miles up the road Highway 1 is closed by a landslide. 

At the ocean viewpoint there were several plaques talking about the history of Sebastion's store. Almost every plaque had a fat squirrel on or next to the plaque.  

We continued south to Highway 46 and our turn back toward Highway 101. The road climbed up to a fantastic view looking back to Morro Bay and Morro Rock. The clouds and the wind were both coming in. We had had a great day on the coast. 

Next stop our first Harvest Host stay at 43 Ranch. 43 Ranch is a third-generation farm/ranch. We were given an olive oil tasting and I could not believe the differences in flavor. They have two areas to camp. Down at the mill or up on the hill. Reading the reviews we requested up on the hill. We followed the host's ATV up the hill to our spot for the night.  43 Ranch was a great host and had firewood set up in the fire pit ready to light.  

Veronica made up cheese and fruit plates. I poured a glass of wine and we enjoyed the view.  

Our spot on the hill.

Far in the distance, you can see an MB van camping our closest neighbor. 

I took the lazy afternoon to catch up on the internet. We used the microwave to defrost and heat a dish Veronica packed for the trip. I really like the large fridge and freezer we have in the van. I did remember to fire up the generator and get a full charge on the batteries. Did not want to be the guy running the generator at 5:30 AM again.  We watched the sunset cast shadows across the hills on the other side of the valley. Sorry forgot to take a picture. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Left is the sunrise we woke up to Wednesday morning. Took the picture out the back van window, under a nice warm down blanket. Going to get used to this Glamping. 

We got going early and added a stop to our trip. Carmel River State Beach where we have found some great sea glass. A quick trip up Highway 101 and across Reservation Road to Highway 1. 

Got a great parking spot in the small parking lot. Walked out to the Carmel River State Beach. The wind was howling and the tide and surf were up. The local PD was telling everyone to stay off the wet sand because of the surf.  

When we go to this spot the sand was dry one side to the other. We saw a couple run across. Our special spot to find sea glass is on the other side.  I did not get this old being stupid so the glass will wait for our next trip.

A short video of the surf going over into the lagoon.

Our total haul of sea glass. 

After the beach, we headed for lunch with my best friend Ron Giannini. We picked up sandwiches at the Corralitos Market and Sausage Co.  Worth the stop if you are in the area. After lunch and a visit with Ron, we headed home. The wind had picked up when we got to I-5 and headed into a headwind. The Ford may be too smart for me. After miles of fighting the wind, the Ford beeped at me and a message come on the dash. "Driver warning, recommend you take a rest"  what does it think? Drunk or tired?  Several more miles and I get another warning. 

We had a great first trip, and I think we are going to like the new Class B van.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, wonderful "Chamber of Commerce" days in your new van. Congrats again and we always enjoy your adventures. Thanks for sharing with us.